Does 'Peace' have anything left to offer?

I’ve been thinking about this for a while…

"Peace’ is a terrible rose here. It hates the cold, it defoliates and spots terribly and it has poor vigour. Every year it struggles to put out new growth and a few enormous flowers and then I start thinking will I or won’t I use it with something stronger. In particualr I have been thinking of going down the hybrid musk line (‘Trier’)) with it lately to see how that combines but at the ast minute always change my mind because ‘Peace’ does so badly here. I did us it one year on ‘Scabrosa’ to see if I could make some yellow rugosa hybrids but the seedlings were ‘failure to thrive’ babies and were all binned. I need to regraft it to see how it goes on multiflora here (because the Dr is a poor dooer here too) and I only keep it because it appears to be virus-free when so many other ‘Peace’ plants are infected with RMV.

So I was wondering whether anyone was trying anything different with ‘Peace’ and was getting some interesting results?

Hi Simon,

I have not used it, but it certainly has a lot of progeny! That alone is significant, however, it must be combined with something very new and clean. Have you considered trying it with ‘Double Knock Out’?

Jim Sproul

Hello Simon, I can understand growing Peace because of its importance in breeding and the fact it was a milestone along the way. I did it, as well as maintaining several of its sports. But, particularly as it doesn’t do well where you are, WHY would you want to attempt to create offspring from it? Where it’s good, it can be spectacular, WHEN it wants to. Wouldn’t your efforts be more efficiently spent using something which is HAPPY where you are? Kim

Well… Australia is a big place… with many different climates… and in a lot of those climates ‘Peace’ is, as you say, spectacular. If I am to breed roses which are good for Australia then I need to think outside the state that I’m in, which has less than 3% of the country’s population. It does poorly in Tasmania, but there is a need for better drought and heat resistant garden plants in hot dry areas, of which Australia has many, and these are the areas where ‘Peace’ excells. We need roses that do well in hot humid areas, where ‘Peace’ does not do well but combined with Teas, Noisettes, or Chinas… or even persica hybrids… maybe it could produce something of merit for these areas. We have absolutely no need for roses that can survive zone 2-5 winters unless they too possess tolerances to heat, drought, and very high humidity along the coasts.

I onced live in northwest New South Wales in a farming town called Moree. It was 5 hours inland and an hour from the Queensland border. In summer it was so hot you felt like you’d melt. I use to spend the school holidays cotton chipping (you get put in a chipping gang at one end of a 20,000 acre paddock with a hoe and told to chip out the weeds from the cotton fields and I’d earn 120 tax free dollars each day which was great to supplment a beginning teacher’s wage 20 years ago… we’d start at 3am and finish by 2pm because it was too hot after that and then spend the afternoon resting tired muscles soaking in the hot thermal pool in town). At times the temperature out in the fields would get to over 50 degrees Celcius. Hottest we ever measured was 52 (125.6F) out in the field. I grew ‘Peace’ out there and it was magnificent.

Tasmania has only 500,000 people in it so if I am to think further afield than where I am now then diversity is among the things that I’d like to have. This is why I keep looking at ‘Peace’ because what it looked like in Moree will be forever burned into my mind.

I think it’s sometimes hard for some of you guys over there to get a good handle on what we are facing here, climatically. Sure you guys have hot areas… you have some insanely hot areas… however, the entire country here is, using the USDA zones as a point of reference, rated at zone 9 to zone 13 or higher and much of the country is in fact arid with narrow bands of temperate to tropical land along the coast. We are, in general, the driest continent on the planet (not here where I get nearly a metre of rainfall a year or the west coast of Tas which receives over 3m of rainfall/year, but most the east coast is dry as a bone. Hobart is in this rain shadow and is the driest capital city in the country). There may be some areas that fall into zone 8 or even 7 but these are very sparsely populated. Even down here in Tasmania, where I am only 2,000km from Antarctica, I’m still in the equivalent of your zone 9B.

I live right at the bottom of the country, along the north coast of Tas bang in the middle :wink:

I can grow Gallica here but you don’t have to go very far north before they are a waste of time for the rest of the country. Even mine don’t flower every year because we need a colder than usual winter to give them enough chill hours. We get pretty stiff frosts and it snows once or twice a year here but it never settles. It does up on the hills behind us (Google Cradle Mountain which is about 50km south of here) but very rarely down here. It gets cold in other areas too but it’s the length of time it is cold for that messes roses like Gallica up further north. They still grow, but flowering is unreliable and David Austin roses grow like medusa instead of well mannered rose bushes.

So that’s why I am thinking about ‘Peace’. If I concentrated on breeding roses that only did well for me, here in Tasmania, then it would have very limited use anywhere else because roses, in general, grow better here than anywhere else in the country because we have a milder climate and a long cold winter. I’m just wondering whether you can ‘teach an old dog new tricks’.

Jim, I’ve not seen ‘Double Knockout’ here yet. I grow ‘Knock Out’ though and seems pretty good down here though George has mentioned it grew poorly up in Sydney where it is far hotter and the humidity is pretty extreme.

Peace has a few offspring which are probably better suited to breeding, like Dame de Coeur. Chicago Peace is arguably more aesthetic. Theyre both GIANT hybrid teas though, and they do not fit most modern gardens. That was part of their draw – they were huge, easy to grow HT’s in colors previously spindly and awkward.


It is true, the Knock Out rose I grew last year had too much spot disease of some sort, here are some of its leaves:

FYI, after throwing it out last year, I got suspicious that I might have been sold a dud +/- starved pot plant. So to prove this one way or the other, I got more Knock Out plants a couple of months ago. These new specimens are going fine.

BTW, I can totally understand your ambivalence about using Peace. I love the flowers, I hate the plant.

Some of 'Peace’s progeny might be more suitable but I have ‘Peace’ and I stopped buying HT a long time ago when I decided this was not the way I wanted to go and I’m not going to go out and buy any more for this purpose. I keep ‘Peace’ alive (just) and think that if I was to move it into the greenhouse it would appreciate the warmer temperature and the drier atmosphere (as it would share space with my cactus).

George, 'Knockout, is pretty bloody good here. It is proving to be a pain to work with though. It’s a tease. The hips look like they have worked for months and just when you think they must be ready to pick they shrivel and drop, empty. Then, as if to rub salt into the wound, every one of its flowers formed an OP hip. I have one deliberate hip left on it between it and bracteata that hasn’t fallen yet but I’m going to assume it will. I tried getting pollen out of it and despite having plenty of anthers it seemed reluctant to release it and it’s a strange, cheesy, orange colour that I have seen on other roses that also make reluctant pollen donors. Personally, I think it is not the most attractive bloom but it is a pretty awesome rose bush and sure makes an impact in the garden once it gets going (which it took ages to do).

Simon, you are spot on about how Knock Out behaves regarding pollen, and hips. Most of those OP hips will have nothing in them, even thought hey look fat LOL! One or two may have a couple of seeds in them if you are lucky, and some of those seeds have crap/no embryos in them. I hate how the KO hips are a little spiny!

Simon, I enjoyed reading about your experiences “cotton chipping”. Growing up on a South Texas cotton farm we called it “cotton chopping” there were years when we couldn’t afford to hire “chippers/choppers” so we did it ourselves. I learned all about the business-end of an eye-hoe.

Hi Joan… it’s character building isn’t it LOL

“Does ‘Peace’ have anything left to offer?”

IMHO for southerners the answer is nono!

At Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden there is a large collection of modern roses that by february were all pitifully thin bare sticks. Only Pink Flower Carpet had some leaves and flowers on very ugly plants.

A long time ago when I was a child Peace was even for southerners trully magnificent with the nicest plant and nicest flower. Growing it and other modern roses allowed natural selection of funghi strains that made it a poor plant in hotter wet climates.

We southerners have to rely on the better performing in our climate roses that are Teas, Chinas and many species, plus eventually only the toughest modern roses.

Just as northern roses breeders rely on the hardiest species and vars.

Regarding the number of offspring of Peace. There is the possibility that few/some/many breeders listed Peace as a parent because:

1)they thought it would help sales

  1. they did not know the parent(s), but they “guessed” that it was a Peace offspring as it looked like Peace.

  2. it was open pollinated. They knew the mother but not the father. Peace was nearby in the field.

Simon, Wozza here,

As I said in your Ozzie site that i had crossed Safrano with Peace and produced a real hum dinger, I think if you crossed it with some Tea’s, the results would be super.

Using some of Peace’s offspring is the the way to go, I have a liking to Baronne Ed Rothschild, has given me some good results with the offspring repeating well and very good health, ( Solance , The Iced Baronne and Shield of Zeus).

The reason I use Peace and its offspring is not that I am after a bloom like Peace but these.

Bloom structure

Its ability to give you colour reverse on petals

I’d imagine teas and chinas and hybrid musks maybe noisettes would be better for mixed colors like that.

I could imagine ‘Crepuscule’ throwing out some interesting colors if crossed with the right thing.

Are you looking for bloom form here, colors or size in terms of using Peace?

Comtesse du Caya can make interesting colors, it’s the pollen parent of a polythana ‘Baby Betty’ which the HMF shows as having a bi-color two toned effect.

My own ‘CdC’ may have died this winter but the color is pure Mercurochrome and shot silk. If I lived in a solidly stable 7b-8a garden as opposed to 7a I would be using her as much as I could.

‘Plaisanterie’ is multi-colored as well,in the manner of it’s “father” ‘Mutabilis’ and it’s other Trier x Mutabilis siblings ‘Apricot Bells’ and ‘Souvenir de Rose-Marie’. The latter in particular seems to have some color shifts like ‘Peace’. I think in the case of hardiness ‘Plaisanterie’ is a good hop up from 'Mutabilis

‘Arethusa’ might be good to work with too, I’ve been particularly impressed by its vigor, nice sized flowers even when young. It’s yellow sport ‘Lemonade’/‘Primrose Queen’ which HMF quotes writer Brent C. Dickerson in his rose book said was superior to ‘Peace’ IF you can find it. The only place that listed it in the United States has changed management/focus and or closed. It might be available elsewhere.

Just suggestions, out of the ones I own I’d think they would be the ones closest to throwing out peace-like colors.


As I say to people, you should 'nt try to replicate a rose, its all ready out there, breeding is stamping your own individual touch to the rose world.

Some one I know wanted to use Charlotte Armstrong in a breeding programme, and from what I have heard it is pretty unhealthy, I said to him use the F1 crosses the results at the end will be good. Dr AJ Verhage is an other one, people find it difficult to grow, but its crosses are tops, it has a lot of F1 offspring out there which if used in a breeding programme give you those wavy petals.

So getting back to what I am after in using Peace, go into HMF and look at all the F1 crosses of peace, it will tell you every thing.

cheers warren


I’ve grown Charlotte Armstrong. It is as healthy as any of its contemporaries, and better (and hardier) than many of them, so I’m not sure where or to whom you have been listening.

Among its first-generation seedlings are a significant number of roses that were good for their time and are still respectable. HMF counts 84 that were introduced, including more than a dozen winners of the AARS award. You probably recognize some of the names–Chrysler Imperial, Mirandy, Queen Elizabeth, Golden Showers, Forty-Niner, Garden Party, Helen Traubel, John S Armstrong, Mojave, etc. If you start counting its grandchildren, you’ll see that Charlotte Armstrong was pretty influential. Just think how many there’d be if she had been healthy.


Peter I think I have been led down the wrong side garden path, have never seen it growing and was going from what I had heard by people. Used a few of CA’s offsring in my breeding cycles.

Jack Harkness complained in “Roses” how Charlotte Armstrong spread her floppy stems and too thin flowers across the world. I’ve grown her and Banner, the striped sport (which I LOVED) and cringed at the mildew they both held firmly to every spring and fall.

Going back to strong older roses and combining them with newer, cleaner varieties may produce something really excellent. On several occasions Mr. Moore said that this should be done with ‘Queen Elizabeth’. I think he was right.

Jim Sproul

Howdy Jim, I have used Queen Elizabeth numerous times in my breeding programme giving excellant results, the transfer of its vigour and health is very good. Also have using Mme Caroline Testou a bit as well, its amazing what these old ones can throw back at you.